I'm literally writing this with tears in my eye. I came down here to Portland, OR, USA for a short beercation and now I'm in a lot of trouble. I am so freaked out at the moment and need to get things sorted out ASAP so I can get out of here. If someone could help me out with a quick loan of approximately $2371.54 to sort out some bills I promise I'll refund it once I get home.
OMG, do you doubt me? What have I done to not deserve your assistance? I'm telling you I'm freaking out. Look, I've been to the cops and the embassy, but neither would help with my issues. I just need a quick loan, because this bar manager won't let me leave until I settle this bill. Western Union is probably the best way for us to do this transaction. Just give them the money and hit me back with that ID and when I can pick it up.
I checked my local Dub-U and there weren't any transactions for me. Don't forget that MTCN confirmation number. And I'm in Portland, OR.
And it's around $2371.54 that I need.
And I'm freaked.
I don't know why you haven't wired me this money. We both know it would save me from a lot of embarrassment and possibly save my life. I've also got a flight to catch. I promise to refund the money to you the next time we meet.
Maybe you need some back story before you help me out. Here we go.
I started at Henry's 12th Street Tavern. This place has like 100 beers on tap!! They were also open at noon. Score-and-a-half! Check out the frozen lane that goes around the bar.
I had four or so pints here. I believe in laying down a good foundation before a big day. Next I headed out to find a Whole Foods Market. Portland is so hip, and I needed a visit to this earth-and-body-friendly, organic foods paradise to give my hipsterism a bump before night fell.
En route I found Rogue Ale Public House, so I did that instead. The bartender there was so cool. Rogue's bar has a lot of windows, so this guy wore sunglasses inside. If memory serves, I think his name was Seabiscuit. My man hooked me up with enough samples to call it a day. I ordered a pint anyway just to return the favor, since I don't know what the proper tipping percentage is on free samples. This barkeep was really rad and definitely deserved a tip.
From across the room I heard, "Anybody want a distillery tour?" I scanned the room to see if there was any takers, but it was two in the afternoon, and I happened to be the only person in the bar area. "Uhhh, this guy," I replied pointing both thumbs at my shoulders. Seabiscuit spit back, "W-W-W dot fingerpoint dot snap dash wink dot com." Hashtag awesome! I was so glad I didn't go to Whole Foods.
|Affected picture of Seabiscuit|
I don't know if my experience was unique, but the solo Rogue distillery tour consisted of talking about liquor and taking shots with the tour lady in the upstairs bar. If there was more to the tour, then I don't recall. I did learn that you cannot touch the still. Hashtag now I have a burn mark on arm.
|Don't Touch That|
Have you guys noticed that Portland has a lot of street folk – uh, homeless-ish looking people (I don't judge). No, not as many as New Haven, Connecticut though. Am I right, friend?
A block from the pub, with my brain composing a mad fiddle tune, I ran into a guy passing out flyers. I have a personal policy about not taking flyers on the sidewalk. "No, you throw it away." I always say that joke. I can't even remember who I stole it from, but it's kind of sneaky mean, and I like it. The street flyer guy didn't understand my sarcasm and somehow tricked me into grabbing the flyer. But I was glad he did.
You see friend, Portland has these Underground Tours that literally take you on a "journey into the bowels of the city." Apparently many of the buildings are connected underground, and were once used for illicit "medicine" trade, Prohibition-era saloons, white slavery, and some other cool stuff. Portland's version of the emerald isle could wait.
The Underground Tour started at the daftly named Shanghai Tunnel pub. Our guide began the experience by asking the group what kind of tour they wanted: 1.) The white slavery tour or 2.) The ghost tour. White slavery sounds pretty awesome. In spite of this fact, everyone in the entire room raised their hands for the ghost tour, presumably because ghosts are cooler than slavery. Ugh.
We headed underground, and I kid you not, the flyer-passer-out guy was down there. Creep city. Seriously, I think I've seen this guy in an old Scooby Doo cartoon. By the end of the tour, we all agreed that there were definitely ghosts living in Portland. "You believe in ghosts," you are probably asking. I agreed ghosts were real as a precaution, because if ghosts do exist, then there is less of a chance of them getting mad and then haunting me if I am a believer. If there aren't really ghosts, then I'm also in the clear, because – you see – they don't exist. The logic is sound. Plus, the creepy flyer-passer-out tour-assistant guy stopped staring at me when I declared my belief. That guy is like part Craigslist – part bottom of the tongue – part stray cat.
We weren't allowed bar drinks on the tour, so it was definitely time to test the taps at the best Irish establishment in America, the place blessed by my new super cool bartender friend from Rogue. At least I thought Seabiscuit was my friend. Wow, how can I express it best? Let me just say that it looked like it was Ed Hardy's birthday (observed) up in there.
Coming down hard off my midday craft beverage bender, I decided to suck it up, intermingle with the pretentious sugar-coated meat heads, and make my way to the bar.
And here, friend, is where the story goes off course.
When I reached for my wallet to pay for my Honest Pint® of Guinness……… NOW DOES MY EARLIER PLEA MAKE SENSE TO YOU!?
My heart started racing. I had everything in that wallet: All my credit cards, my ID, my American Homebrewers Association member card, a lotto ticket, my Social Security Card, a bunch of walking around cash, and a receipt of a time when I epically out-Whataburgered my wife. I started sweating. I couldn't breathe. Everything was spinning. I really wanted that beer.
I ran out of
I awoke in some dreadful chamber underground. I checked my pocket and damn – no wallet. I had no idea where I had been taken or how I got there, but when I saw him, I figured it out.
Curse all those fools for voting for the ghost tour!! I knew zero point zero about Shanghaiing. But, I was about to find out.
Did you ever pith a frog in science class? I'm just saying that it was the creepy flyer tour guy down there with me. He explained my two options: 1.) Work the Portland bar scene for no pay, cleaning up in the early mornings to get the establishments ready for the next day, or 2.) Pay $2,250 for my freedom.
He further explained that Portland had been using this shocking practice of kidnapping able-bodied men and women since the 1800s. A little Shanghaiing is apparently how Portland continues to be so great, and it really makes sense the way he explained it. I had sensed something a little strange about the city. Plus, it is kind of cool to be called "able-bodied."
But friend, I'm no good at cleaning. I haven't even made my bed since middle school. Please, please help me out. I'll be honest, I was just kidding about the embassy thing in the earlier update. I thought that would get your attention, but now I know I was wrong. The Western Union details at the top of the post are totally real though. I need that $2,250 for my freedom, $86.54 for the ecoShuttle to PDX, and I seriously need a beer or two and a pizza.
I will never drink a bunch of beer before liquor and then take flyers and go on tours ever again. I promise. I'll just wait here for your response.
With this guy.